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More groups added to vaccine eligibility list in Wisconsin as Johnson and Johnson shot gets go-ahead from FDA


LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Health opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to more groups today as Johnson and Johnson ramps up production of their newly approved vaccine.

“The number one reason it’s important is for supply, we wanna get more people vaccinated, more people in the community, lower the community spread so this is really a tool to be able to do that,” said Dr. Matt Anderson M.D., the Senior Medical Director, Primary Care, UW Health.

Vaccine supply is an issue across the country so ramping up production of this single shot is important so that those who may not have the time to get two shots can still be vaccinated.

“We know there may be people reluctant or hesitant to get a vaccine, let alone get two vaccines so I think for some of them or people who have difficulty coming back or scheduling transportation or getting off work,” said Dr. Anderson. “I think this is a valuable opportunity for them to have something that’s a little more simplistic.”

Dr. Anderson said the efficacy of the newest shot is lower than the previously released versions.

Dr. Anderson said, “The risk reduction that somebody has against getting COVID-19 infection, so that’s the number you’ll hear quoted for Moderna and Pfizer, they’re reducing that risk of getting the COVID infection by 95%, Johnson and Johnson looking more in that 67% range.”

Dr. Anderson said all three shots do well at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death as a result of COVID-19 and this is important as more groups get the chance to get the shot to create herd immunity.

Maximal immunity comes a week after the second shot for Pfizer and Moderna it takes around 28 days for the newly approved Johnson and Johnson shot.

“I am excited and I am hopeful and I’ll be relieved when I have both shots taken care of,” said Tracy Sturtevant, Spanish Teacher, Appleton West High School.

Teachers are some of the most talked-about when it comes to getting the vaccine and many are looking forward to the opportunity.

David Botz, the District Administrator at the Little Chute Area School District said, “So now we finally have DHS approval that educators are now up… We’re ecstatic, we’re very pleased.”

The Little Chute Area School District administrators worked with Smith Pharmacy to get every teacher a vaccine that wants one.

“Actually that was coordinated through our school nurse Samantha Busco. She did a lot of the leg work,” said Botz. “We were able to coordinate and through her efforts, we were able to secure those two days.”

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